It is believed that the New Zealand terror suspect accused in the deadly shooting spree on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday was not done when he was arrested. New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush has said that they believe the suspect was on his way to a third location.
Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian man who was arrested in relation to the shootings, has been charged with one count of murder. However, with the death toll at 50, it is expected that more charges will follow.
According to CNN, police believe that Tarrant was on his way to another location in order to continue the shooting spree. In a statement released on Wednesday, Bush said that he absolutely believed that they stopped the suspect “on the way to a further attack.”
“We strongly believe we stopped him on the way to a further attack,” Bush said, according to NBC News.
“So lives were saved by our staff, courageous in their intervention.”
The attacks occurred last Friday on the Masjid Al Noor and Dar Al Hijrah mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. These mosques are approximately three miles apart from each other. As for where the third potential location was, police have declined to name it. As yet, it is also unclear as to whether the third location was a mosque like the first two targets. However, it was stated that the place is in the same location that “contains Christchurch.” This location is also believed to have been checked on Friday after the attacks occurred for explosive devices.
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Bush then went on to explain the response time it took for police to get to arrive on the scene. He stated that police arrived within five minutes and 39 seconds of being notified of the vicious attack.
“Within 21 minutes the person that is now in custody was arrested,” Bush explained.
With the Muslim faith requiring prompt burials, some of the victims have already been laid to rest. Of the 50 that were killed, 21 have been formally identified, though CNN noted that 30 bodies have been identified in total. Authorities are working tirelessly to identify the remaining victims amid some complaints from the Muslim community that there have been delays in identification.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reached out to the community to offer her support following the tragedy.
“I know the process has been incredibly difficult, frustratingly slow from the perspective of family members, but on the [other] side, I’ve seen those who are working on this process as well and I can also acknowledge that they are working incredibly hard too.”
In addition to the arrest of Brenton Tarrant, others were also arrested, but it has been revealed that a woman has been released without allegations. The remaining two men arrested have been “accused of firearms violations.” However, it is not believed that they were involved with the violent act.